Hand-foot-and-mouth is a viral infection that is most frequently seen in the summer and fall months.

What are the signs or symptoms?

• Tiny blisters in the mouth and on the fingers, palms of hands, buttocks, and soles of feet that last a little longer than a week (one, few, or all of these may be present).

• common cold signs or symptoms with fever, sore throat, runny nose, and cough.

• Other signs or symptoms, such as vomiting and diarrhea, can occur, but are less frequently troublesome.

How long is my child contagious?

Virus may be shed for several weeks after the infection starts; respiratory shedding of the virus is usually limited to a week or less. Once the child is fever free for 24 hours (without tylenol or motrin) and the blisters have crusted over, the child is considered safe to return to school and be around other children.

How do I care for my child with Hand-foot-and mouth?

Since this illness is a virus, symptomatic treatment is key.

• Hydrate and avoid foods that may irritate blisters in the mouth.

• Treat fever with rotating tylenol and motrin as needed.

• Rest

• Avoid sharing drinks and maintain good hand hygiene until lesions have crusted over and begin to heal.

Call your pediatrician if your child’s fever lasts more than 3 days or if he or she is not drinking fluids.